Keighley Sea Cadets, Keighley, Bradford
Concert pianist, 65, jailed for eight years after abusing five boys over 25-year period
- John Briggs assaulted two music students and three sea cadets
- Bradford Crown Court heard he filmed two of his victims on a camcorder
- Judge branded the 65-year-old a ‘systematic and relentless abuser’ of boys
- Briggs, who was awarded an MBE for his work with the sea cadets, was convicted of nine charges of indecent assault from the 1960s to 1993
- One victim complained to police in 1993 but no action was taken
A concert pianist was jailed this week for eight years for sexually abusing boys over a quarter of a century.
John Briggs, 65, assaulted two music students and three sea cadets, filming two of his victims with a camcorder.
Briggs was branded a systematic and relentless abuser of young boys as it emerged one of his victims went to the police 20 years ago, but no action was taken.
Pianist John Briggs, from West Yorkshire, has been jailed for eight years after being convicted of nine charges of indecent assault on young boys
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall, QC told Bradford Crown Court: ‘Of course to add insult to injury when (the complainant) went to the police in 1993 they did absolutely nothing.
‘That is a disgrace but things have changed.’
The 65-year-old assaulted two music students and three sea cadets, filming two of his victims on camcorder
He was convicted on nine charges of indecent assault covering a period between the late 1960s and 1993, on victims aged between 10 and 15.
Briggs, of East Morton, West Yorkshire, was jailed for between a year and 30 months for each offence, to be served consecutively – amounting to eight years.
Nicholas Worsley, prosecuting at Bradford Crown Court, said: ‘(Briggs) is a concert pianist, in the past taking private pupils for music lessons.
‘During the course of some of those lessons he would sexually assault boys he was supposed to be teaching.
‘In more recent years Mr Briggs became involved in the Keighley Sea Cadet movement which was based near where he lived’
Mr Worsley told the court that one of the students Briggs allegedly abused was scared to say anything in case the lessons stopped.
He told the court: ‘He was very proud to be taught by Mr Briggs. He was well known at the time, very famous at the time.
He was put in for his Grade eight exam, which was advanced for his age.
‘He was fearful that if he said anything that would be the end of his hopes as a pianist.’
The court heard when the boy was nearly 16, Briggs invited him to his home for an extended lesson and ended up lying naked wearing a pink gown beside the boy, trying to get him to touch him.
The boy ran away and told his mother but nothing was done, a jury heard.Judge Jonathan Durham Hall, QC told Bradford Crown Court, Briggs was a ‘systematic and relentless abuser’ of young boys. He was convicted of crimes dating from the late 1960s to 1993, and his victims were aged between 10 and 15
Mr Worsley said: ‘Mr Briggs subsequently got in touch with (the boy’s) parents and said their son had no talent and would never amount to anything as a musician.’
In the early 1990s Briggs went on to abuse three teenage boys he knew through his role as president in the Sea Cadets – two of these he filmed on a camcorder, the court heard.
The jury was told on both occasions he asked the boys if they were interested in modelling and paid one boy £80.
The court heard that in the early 1990s, Briggs abused a 15-year-old boy he knew through the cadets. Police were informed and Briggs was arrested but wasn’t charged.
The court heard his arrest over the Sea Cadet allegations led to the music allegations coming to the attention of the police.
In various interviews with the police Briggs denied any sexual assaults of music pupils and denied any sexual activity with cadets.